Anganwadi workers in Bangalore marched towards Freedom Park demanding an increment in their monthly wages.
Usha Kulkarni and S H Hadapa, two Anganwadi workers said, “We want the government to recognize us as government workers and increase our monthly wages. We want us to be included in the C and D group workers.”
Currently, the Anganwadi workers receive Rs. 8,000/month and the helpers get Rs. 4,000 a month. They have been protesting for the past 10 years for the increment in monthly wages and pensions. However, the Department of Child and Women Development said they provide money during the retirement.
“We are providing some amount of money at the time of retirement but not pension. Since they are not government servants, they are on honorarium. So whatever decision the government takes, we are going to implement,” said Bharthi Murthy, a senior supervisor at the Department of Child and Women Development.
In 1975, to fight against malnutrition and hunger faced by the children in villages Anganwadi project was initiated. Under 204 ICDS project, there are 62,480 Anganwadi centres in Karnataka.
Rama T C, the state president of All India United Trade Union (AIUTUC) said, “Earlier they used to provide corpus funds, for teachers it was Rs. 50,000 and for helpers it was Rs. 30,000. Now they provide nothing like that, so the workers are now left in streets.”
Apart from the pension and increment in the monthly wages, National Education Policy (NEP) also concerns the workers. They fear to be left jobless as the Anganwadi workers and helpers department will be transferred to the Education Department from the Integrated Child Development services.